After having been in the same role for over 5 years, Ted was stuck. "What else can I talk about with these people that we haven't gone over all ready?" was the question Ted kept asking himself (with no answer) after he did a review of his clients. He knew he didn't want to be the pesky salesman that just made a meaningless follow up call, or who stopped in to drop off donuts and see what orders might be around to pick up, but he was also very aware that his manager expected him to keep growing the territory and expanding the accounts.
Many business development people find themselves in the same situation that Ted was facing every day. The clients and prospects all knew the products and services that Ted and his company sold, so he couldn't think of anything else to share with the decision makers that he called on. There just aren't a whole lot of ways to talk about products, features and benefits or programs, once the initial introductions were over. What else to do other than to wait for orders, or to call occasionally to see what else the prospects might have on their list, or if any new projects had come up. The end result is that many sales people become professional visitors with nothing more than hope as the best sales strategy in their tool box.
The true pros know how to get past products and learn how to become business-smart about the world they sell in. The decision makers' that most sales people need to talk with are more often dealing with business issues than the products they sell. When you can prove yourself as a business savvy ally, these decision makers will gladly share time and information with you. If you don't present yourself as someone that truly understands what your prospects deal with day in and day out in growing their business, or make their job easier, then you will most likely find yourself sitting in the lobby while the valuable sales pros spend time with your prospect and get the orders you can only hope for.
While most sales reps will attempt to enter the world of their clients by pleading for a "partnership" role, the most successful reps simply earn that position by the questions they ask, the way they conduct themselves, and placing more importance on their customer’s business than their own. Get out of the product world and get into the business world, and be more valuable.
Take the time at the start of this week and do a review of your clients needs and past discussions you have held with them about their businesses. Make sure you have stayed on top of problems or challenges they were facing with their business. Have you been able to help them find a solution, even if it means not working with you?
Final Thought for the Morning:
“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” – Richard Branson
Your Top 3 Goals & Tactics for the Week
LAST WEEK: Update us on how things went last week with your stated Goals and GD Tactics.
THIS WEEK: Please share your Top 3 Goals for this week and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.